planned. u.s. officials say they killed 120 insurgents and top leaders, many taliban, but several of them arabs linked to al qaeda, damaging their network. yet the clashes revealed that al qaeda for years said to be mostly across the border in pakistan is again a concern, back where they started in afghanistan's hills. we pushed down into the valley, still an insurgent stronghold. high tech american attack helicopters buzzed overhead until militants shot at them from up the valley. >> it is uncharacteristic for the taliban, i know, from around here. they're getting pretty gutsy. right past there, usually our patrols don't push it too far past that. if you push it far past that, you'll take enemy contact, it is pretty certain. >> reporter: the afghans clear about who lay in wait for them ahead. >> translator: it is very dangerous. there are taliban, arabs, pakistanis there. >> reporter: at the foot of the valley, the american base is often hit by pot shots, sometimes from lone gunmen up high who they then mortar.